Ask Auntie

Is Sweet Potato healthier than ‘normal’ Potato?

Q. Sweet potatoes, especially fries, seem to be on every menu because they are a ‘healthy option’. Are they really healthier than normal potatoes?

Asks Sara in London.

A. Hi Sara,

Sweet potatoes are absolutely everywhere aren’t they, and when they are made into chips or fries, well, they don’t really work. They don’t go crispy in the right way at all, so the saving grace has to be that they are better for you doesn’t it?

Well, depending on what you are using as a measure of healthiness, then they probably are but not by all that much.

To start with sweet potatoes contain slightly more calories overall per weight, and a much higher sugar content as you would probably expect from the name. 1 point for the ‘normal’ potato then.

Sweet potatoes more have a little more fibre and a little less saturated fat That makes it 1-1.

Where the sweet potato really shines is in the vitamin and mineral stakes. Whilst it has less vitamin C than a standard potato, it does have more of pretty much everything else, including a massive amount of vitamin A. 2-1 and we have a winner!

In reality to say that potatoes are bad for you and sweet potatoes are wonderful things would be horribly untrue and a slight on the worlds most grown vegetable. Sweet potatoes are lovely and definitely have their place but in my opinion it isn’t fried as chips and served with a burger.

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